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Leave the Designer Shoes, Welcome Your Next Vacation

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“Not all those who wander are lost.” – J. R. R. Tolkien

 

Less than a few weeks ago, I tasked my heel-wearing feet with a small journey back to my Airbnb home in Negril, Jamaica. It was located on the far West End, where the rocky road merged with the dirt and the brightest streetlight shone from the moon. Needless to say, it was hard for me to see much as I walked the bumpy ground. But as I sauntered down the path and guided my footsteps with widened eyes, the thing I saw most clear was the imprint of my shoe left on the earth below me.  And in that following moment, the air had nudged my next step and I truly felt that I belonged.

 

For those of us that have ever questioned our purpose, existence or our belonging to a certain place, person or thing, know that there’s a big world out there that awaits our arrival, longing for our footprint in order to reveal to us the answers.

 

Now that may sound a bit mythical, but let’s put it this way: I’m sure you’ve heard or said some variation of the saying, “I need to get some air to clear my head!” Well, when we say that, it’s usually because we need answers from within ourselves. And sometimes it takes getting out of our environments to get out of our heads and into our bodies. Only then are we able to truly listen to what’s in our hearts.

I recall one weekend during my studies abroad when I decided to be a deviant *insert evil laugh here* and travel to Rome while all of my roommates (my usual travel partners) ventured off to Pompeii.  Yes, I was alone. Yes, I was a bit nervous. But I was on a tight budget and could only afford to travel to the cities on my priority list. It was one of the best decisions I had made the entire semester and here’s why:

 

When I eliminated the regular bus tours, museum raids, and other “must-see/do” activities that included the wants and needs of my roommates, I was left only with the tasks that were important to me. After completing those, I went on a directionless exploration that didn’t include any tour guides. While I explored the Colosseum and other ruins of Rome, I had never felt more at peace with myself. I felt like I could hear God through the rubble of Palatine Hill telling me,

“if this is how far you have come, look at how much farther you can go.”

Inspired is an understatement. I was both liberated and reassured of my life’s path.

 

But clarity isn’t the only thing traveling the world is great for. With travel comes culture, experience, wisdom, inspiration and personal growth among a number of other things. Did I mention experience? Not just any experience, but the experience you can’t put a price tag on.

 

But still, I can hear some of you wail as I write this that traveling is “sooo expensive!!!” Sorry to break it to you but that’s an excuse. Not only is travel inexpensive, it’s an investment…sort of like those designer shoes you’ve had your eye on, except, the return is far greater and doesn’t depreciate with time.

 

When you journey the world and expose yourself to different cultures, a change within you begins to develop like a seed. With each new setting, that seed is watered and slowly, but surely, your ideas about living and what that means grow. Soon enough, you become well versed in the ways of various people and the many things life has to offer you and your knowledge regarding what you can offer the world back is enriched and blossoming.

Up to this day I am creatively inspired by my travel experiences. Seeing an Italian Renaissance play in Venice showed me some of what made locals laugh and cry. Viewing Insidious 2 in a Paris movie theater showed me that Americans aren’t the only boisterous people yelling back at the screen. And walking through the tiny house Anne Frank last made her refuge in Amsterdam put that time in history in a perspective that all five of my senses were able to create.

 

Don’t let fear stop you from fulfilling your personal journey through travel. Let flight be the blanket that comforts you during your time of discovery and let nature be your neighbor while you unearth where both your home and your heart really is.

 

Because the universe really, really wants to talk to you, but only through your journey can it make you listen.

And for my seasoned adventurers, why do you travel?

Tamara Shanice is an actress, writer, lyricist and fashionable hustler who takes pride in entertaining and educating through her art. She's a wandering spirit who loves to travel the world and marvel at the works of God's paintbrush.

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You Know That Comfort Zone You Love So Much? Leave It!

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Everyone has a comfort zone which is more than just a mere place, a place where we have psychologically and emotionally constructed to offer peace of mind as we go about our daily lives. Being a comfort zone is synonymous to being a place where comfort, safety, and security are guaranteed. It describes a patterned world that exists basically for an individual, comfortable and calm enough to remain free of stress and anxiety to a greater degree. While creating a comfort zone can be ideal for a lot of people, understand that stepping out of your comfort zone is a necessity for growth, transformation, and development.

Yes, stepping out of one’s comfort zone may come with stress and anxiety but if staying calm in your comfort zone forever is what you feel comfortable with, you might be missing out on so many things. You might not be able to experience new things and new challenges. Taking the risk to leave your comfort zone can make a big difference in your life. You may experience difficulty making the change but growing and transformation will definitely be the reward.

The most fearful things about daring oneself to leave one’s comfort zone is the fear of uncertainty and failure, the fear of not knowing how to get there, but the truth is, we all have the ability to overcome hurdles and obstacles, little effort added to our daily routine out of our comfort zone can actually result to a huge success and change our world entirely.

You are missing out on so much when you choose not to step out of your comfort zone. Here are a few benefits when you decide to take that leap of faith and try something new:

 

Opportunity To Grow

Daring yourself can help you reach the peak of your performance. I’m sure you’ve read that quote where insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting different results. It’s not possible to repeat the same routine on a daily basis and expect to reach a new level of growth in your life. If you want to grow as an individual, taking risks is an important thing.

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Learn About Yourself

Everything in life requires risk, for instance, if you want to make new friends, you’ve got to take the risk of starting a conversation by introducing yourself. It is a risk because you can’t be certain that the other party wants to be your friend. The same thing is applicable to work and every other aspect of life.  This risk will help you grow, build on your weakness, teach you how to excel through your interests, strengths, passions and show you how capable you are. When you achieve something through the risk you take which you weren’t sure about in the first place, you’ll learn to be more confident and owning that leader within you.

 

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Increase Your Self-Confidence

Taking action to tackle the unknown and uncertainty may boost your self-confidence and break the boundaries and limitation of self-beliefs. Trying and failing is better than not trying at all, by making an attempt, you are building your self-esteem, by taking action, you will realize many things are possible.

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Build New Relationships

Meeting new people can actually help your career and personal goals.  You’ll learn about new things, be given new perspectives and new ways to challenge your thinking when you put yourself out there in front of new people. This is a different level of growth you’ll receive than when you are constantly with the same set of people.

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Keep in mind that good things don’t happen because we wish for them to happen, good things happen as a result of the action we take and our willingness to leave behind our comfort zone to search for a new experience life may have to offer. Where we are today is a result of what we did yesterday and where we will be tomorrow will be determined by the action we take today.

Be great today and always everyone. Believe in yourself, we believe in you.

 

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Keeping Your Mental Health Rock Solid, Even in Hard Times

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We process so much with our minds everyday; from which Drake verse are we going to use on our next Instagram post or what career path to venture into that we will be genuinely happy in. Our minds are constantly on an endless wheel, and sometimes (okay most of the time) this can be straight up overwhelming. There is just a lot to deal with; not being able to manage our finances, the end of a close relationship, confusion with figuring out our purpose in life, the list is endless.

This means that at every point in time, we more than likely feel like we are on the verge of breaking down, or even throwing in the towel, if we don’t intentionally take care of our mental space. If things don’t go well in our heads, it can’t go well in our lives either, that’s why your mental health is as important as your physical, emotional and spiritual health.

Deciding to be mentally healthy all the time, is a necessity. It means you are willing to take back control and steer your life in an amazing direction. Here are a few habits that can help a more positive mental health:

Read

One of the ways to expand your mental horizon and enlarge your mental awareness, is by reading. Read books that inform, excite, educate and challenge you. It has been said that reading is therapeutic, and can ensure very healthy brain cells. No matter how busy you are, carve out time to read and feed your mind with books, not just Instagram captions. 

Meditate

Meditating is a way to reach for inner peace; you quiet every noise, sit still and focus your mind on something in particular. One great thing about meditation is that it makes you mentally aware and it awards you with clarity.

Talk About Your Feelings

Like it’s said, a problem shared is a problem half solved. If you have burdensome thoughts or feelings, it’s always better to talk about it with someone who is nonjudgmental that you can trust. Talking about your feelings can take the burden off your shoulders, and clear your mental space. It is a relief to have someone listen to you as you honestly talk about how you feel and what you’re going through. 

Journal

Whether it’s online, or in a leather-bound diary, writing down your uncensored feelings and thoughts is therapeutic. It’s like emptying your bowels in the toilet, only that this time you are emptying your mental bowels on paper. Basically, GET RID OF THAT Sh!$. Let it off your chest; the anger, the pain, the joy, the progress, let it all out. Holding back in can be a backward pressure that will tear your mental health apart.

Eat Healthy and Exercise

Eating healthy goes hand in hand with exercise. Eating healthy will replenish you with macromolecules you require to be mentally stable. More so, working out releases chemicals that help you feel good. On top of that, it improves blood and oxygen flow to your brain and vital organs, which helps keep you whole and healthy. 

Try taking some of these tips into consideration as you work on building a better mental health. 

Because love, there’s goals that needs to be accomplished. Let’s keep that mind healthy and ready to go as you get ready to face whatever challenges the day may bring. 

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OCCUPYING YOUR MINDSET EP.2 | I Hate My Body

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Episode 2 of #occupyingyourmindset vlog is up and lawwwddd I can’t believe I’m speaking about this in public. This is a topic I barely even feel comfortable talking to my closest friends about. However, I did promise you all I’ll be using this series to be raw and honest sharing everything I’m going through behind the scenes, right?

Here’s to me making myself extremely vulnerable to you all.

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